Clerk’s office to reissue ballots to voters
From Newaygo County Clerk Jason VanderStelt:
On Saturday, September 26, 2020 at 2:30 PM, it was brought to my attention that the 78th District Judge race was not included on the Newaygo County ballots. Judge H. Kevin Drake filed with the State Bureau of Elections to run for the 78th District Court Judge on January 31st, 2020. Due to unknown reasons, he was not listed on the preliminary candidate listing from the State.
As of September 26, 2020, approximately 6145 Absent Voter Ballots were sent to Newaygo County voters that had previously submitted applications for the November 3, 2020 General Election. Out of these ballots, only 41 have been returned to the local clerks.
The Newaygo County Clerk's Office has been in contact with the ballot printers and the correction has been made. New ballots are being printed at the time of this statement and shall arrive on Thursday, October 1, 2020 to the local clerks.
Upon arrival of these new ballots, our clerks will be diligently working to reissue new Absent Voter ballots to all voters who have already been sent a ballot. These new ballots will be accompanied by a letter explaining the error and the voter's options.
These options include:
If the voter has not already returned the original ballot, they are requested to vote and return only the replacement ballot and destroy the original ballot.
If the voter has already returned the original ballot, they have two options:
Vote and return the replacement ballot even if they have already voted and returned their original ballot. The original ballot will not be counted.
If they do not vote and return the replacement ballot, their original ballot will be counted, but they will have no vote recorded for the 78th District Court race.
Every voter will have their vote counted. Newaygo County has procedures in place that will ensure only one ballot for each voter will be counted per State Election Laws, Policies and Procedures.